When you’re just getting started with WordPress, building a site that looks good and looks the way you want it to look can be tough.
There’s the technical stuff – like figuring out hosting and installing WordPress. Then, there’s the non-technical stuff – like figuring out how to make your website look and function how you want it to.
LaunchParty is a free WordPress course that aims to make that a lot simpler by showing new WordPress users how to build a customizable website using Elementor Pro and the Astra theme.
In this post, I’ll share more about the content LaunchParty covers, how the course works, and whether or not it’s a good way to learn how to build a WordPress site.
LaunchParty Review: What The Course Covers
LaunchParty aims to cover everything from “zero” to “working WordPress website”. The tagline is “Website In A Weekend”, and LaunchParty divides its curriculum into three days.
Don’t worry, though – the course is totally self-paced. You can go through it as fast or as slow as you prefer.
One of the unique things about LaunchParty is that it includes 600+ Elementor templates as part of its curriculum. You’ll actually use these templates as part of the course, which I think is a great way to make Elementor more accessible to new users.
Beyond that, each lesson includes a video tutorial, as well as various text summaries and checklists to keep you focused on the important stuff.
Let’s take a deeper look at what the course covers on each “day” of its curriculum:
Day 1: Set Up WordPress
The first day covers the technical parts of getting a basic WordPress site running. Basically, you’ll build the foundation of your site by:
- Choosing a domain name
- Signing up for web hosting
- Installing WordPress
- Installing the Astra theme and Elementor
- Setting up a custom email address using your domain name
Day 2: Create Your Website
After Day 1, you’ll have a working website that people can visit…just without any content or design! Day 2 changes that and has you start building your site using Elementor and Elementor Pro. You’ll:
- Learn how Elementor works
- Download LaunchParty’s big template collection in your preferred color scheme
- Create your first page and blog post with Elementor
- Design your website’s header and footer
- Create basic pages, like your blog and category archive pages
Day 3: Improve Your Design
After Day 2, you should have a basic custom website, complete with your own information. In Day 3, you’ll build on that by taking advantage of some of Elementor’s more advanced style options. You’ll:
- Add stock photos and background images
- Include shape dividers to spice up your design
- Adjust the mobile and tablet designs of your site to make sure your site looks perfect on different devices
- Tweak lots of other style options, like box shadow, padding and margins, animations, and more
What’s the Catch? How is LaunchParty Free?
There’s no “catch” here, nor is LaunchParty a charity.
Rather than making its money from charging you for access to the course, LaunchParty makes money when you purchase the tools used in the course from the developers. Specifically:
- Elementor Pro
- SiteGround Hosting
This is called affiliate marketing. Once you build your site, you can use a similar approach to make money!
Hands-On: How the LaunchParty Course Is Set Up
Now that you have the high-level look, let’s take a deeper look at how the course content actually works.
FYI, to access the course content, you’ll need to register for a free account.
The “Day” Checklist Page
Each “Day” in LaunchParty’s curriculum gets its own page with a checklist of all the steps/lessons involved in that day.
One thing I like about LaunchParty is that it makes it really easy to see what you’ve already done, and what you still need to do.
Each lesson gets its own checkmark to show that you’ve completed it, and there’s also the nice Next arrow that shows what’s on deck. Beyond that, you can also “favorite” a lesson if you want to come back to it later:
The Individual Lesson/Tutorial Page
Next, let’s take a look at an example of an individual lesson.
Spoiler – I like how LaunchParty has structured its lessons.
A lesson starts with an Action Plan, which gives you a high-level look at each step that you’re going to take and also provides a checklist:
As you get into individual steps, each step begins with an explanation of why this step is important. This is great because it helps you understand not just “what” you need to do, but also “why” you’re doing something:
Below that, you’ll get a video tutorial, which is the meat of the lesson. Then, underneath the embedded video player, you’ll get a video summary:
Adding the video summary is a smart way to recap the key takeaways from a video, and helps you remember everything you learned (and access the timestamp if you want more information).
Finally, at the bottom of a step, you can mark it as complete.
Once you complete all the steps in a lesson/tutorial, you can mark the entire tutorial as complete and view a celebratory GIF or badge:
My Thoughts On The Structure
I like how LaunchParty has structured things because each lesson does a great job of combining both detailed information in the form of the video tutorial, as well as lots of summaries and reminders to keep you on track in the form of:
- Action plans to keep you focused on important tasks
- Lots of checklists to stay organized
- Video summaries to remind you of key takeaways from the video tutorial
Finally, while I’ve never personally been one to care about gamification, you’ll have the added incentive of collecting all the badges, if that tickles your fancy:
How LaunchParty Incorporates Its Elementor Templates
One other thing I want to highlight is how LaunchParty incorporates its huge set of Elementor templates into the tutorials, as this is a pretty big differentiator for LaunchParty’s tutorials vs some random tutorial you find on YouTube..
With Elementor templates, you’re basically able to import premade designs (and then customize them to make them your own).
Building a basic layout with Elementor is easy. But building something that actually looks good takes some practice. That’s why I think it’s better to “learn in reverse”. That is, instead of trying to build a design from scratch, import a template that already looks good and dissect it to figure out how it’s done.
This is how I learned Elementor – I would import templates from the free template library and then figure out all the settings that made those templates look so good.
Here’s how LaunchParty does it…
In the first lesson of Day 2, LaunchParty has you download and import the templates:
The cool thing is that you can choose different color schemes for your templates, which lets you have more control over how your site will look:
Once you import the templates, you’ll actually use them as you go through the future lessons. For example, when you go through the lesson on how to create your About page, you’ll use your preferred template as you follow along with the lesson:
Overall, the way that LaunchParty incorporates its templates makes the course a lot more accessible and easier to follow along with.
Final Thoughts on LaunchParty
I think LaunchParty is a great resource for WordPress newbies for two reasons:
First, there’s the approach it uses for building a WordPress site. That is, the idea of using Elementor to design your site, rather than trying to find a niche WordPress theme. I think that in 2019, this is the best way for most people to build a site. On a personal note, this exact combo – Elementor and Astra – is what I’ve previously recommended to family members. So yeah – I believe in it!
Beyond that, there’s the actual course itself. By incorporating its own Elementor templates into the mix, LaunchParty eliminates one of the biggest hurdles with Elementor because you aren’t forced to build things from scratch (which can feel overwhelming when you’re new).
Additionally, I like all the little checklists, recaps, etc. While the video lessons still are your main learning method, these smaller additions make it much easier to stay organized and focus on key concepts.
All in all, if you’re a WordPress beginner looking to build your first WordPress site, you should definitely check out LaunchParty.